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Increasing Pressure from Downstream to Lower Price, Polysilicon Price Unstable

published: 2011-08-31 18:20

According to EnergyTrend, a research division of TrendForce, polysilicon price is beginning to show signs of relaxation, with some manufacturers already quoting prices lower than US$50/kg. This development is unsurprising; wafer and cell makers all experienced losses in Q2, according to the released quarter’s financial reports. As a result, pressure from downstream wafer and cell makers to lower price increases daily. Si wafer price for Q4 is estimated at US$48-45/kg, and cell manufacturers are expecting wafer price to range from US$1.9 to 1.85/piece.

As market demand has been weaker than expected, downstream makers’ demand for spot goods has decreased significantly as well, putting immense pressure on spot price. Although the mainstream spot price of polysilicon remains at the $50/kg threshold, some manufacturers have already quoted $47/kg. Thus, EnergyTrend believes that it is highly likely that the average price of polysilicon for September will fall below $50/kg. 

As for mono-Si wafers, since mono-Si wafer capacity still does not exceed that of multi-Si and its market demand is relatively stable, first-tier manufacturers’ price quotes remain the same. However, second and third-tier manufacturers’ price quotes have decreased. With regard to multi-Si wafers, Si wafer manufacturers are already experiencing tremendous pressure from downstream clients to lower price. While first-tier manufacturers like SAS and GET have maintained $2/piece pricing, second-tier manufacturers’ prices have already slid to approximately $1.95/piece this week. EnergyTrend expects that first-tier manufacturers will be unable to hold on to $2/piece pricing; Si wafer manufacturers will face a grim challenge on their performance in 3Q11.

In terms of cells and modules, according to EnergyTrend, first-tier manufacturers’ capacity remains at satisfactory levels, but price quotes continue to fluctuate due to the less-than-expected market demand.

Looking towards 3Q11, EnergyTrend indicates that in terms of profit, the situation appears bleak for wafer and cell manufacturers. Unless polysilicon price decreases significantly, thus allowing clients to lower production costs, the majority of wafer and cell manufacturers will be unable to avoid losses in 3Q11.

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